Operational Policies – background



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Arctic SDI WG on Operational Policies

Paper 1 - September 2014



Operational Policies – background

The operation of the Arctic Spatial Data Infrastructure offering services to the public with basic reference geodata including metadata from the National Mapping Agencies and other authoritative data providers of the 8 member states of the Arctic Council requires two essential commonly agreed frameworks as a prerequisite for the operation of the services: a legal framework and a policy framework.

The purpose of the policy framework is to set the direction and facilitate the development of services as well as guiding both the users of geodata and the providers of thematic geodata in order to facilitate best possible overall outcome from the use of the Arctic SDI.

The purpose of the legal framework is to define responsibilities and regulate the daily operation of these services and the use of the data to facilitate access to the data via services in a way which do not lead to violation of rights and do not cause liability.

The overarching policy document for the Arctic SDI is the Arctic SDI Framework Document which will be revised through the discussions and decisions of the Arctic SDI Board eg. as a consequence of the ongoing Strategy 2015-20 work. These discussions will be under the influence of the regional and global developments taking place in the context of UN-GGIM, UN-GGIM for the Americas, EuroGeographichs, EU INSPIRE and the European Location Framework (ELF). The legal framework will naturally enough derive from the national regulations being developed into a common accepted regulatory framework for the Arctic SDI as a multilateral regional coorperation.

The development of the first elements of these Operational Policies for the Arctic SDI is naturally aimed at the Arctic SDI platform - the Geoportal - itself, and its first services: the Arctic Web Map Service (1:250.000), the GeoNames Location Service and the Artic SDI Metadata Catalogue.

The legal framework should be kept as simple as possible focused on the basic needs for operating the first services of the Arctic SDI, whereas the policy framework should focus on accommodating the inclusion and participation of thematic data providers and users – both essential for the development of the Arctic SDI into the tool of information exchange in the Arctic region.

The legal framework

To create the legal framework requires a systematic approach to what kind of interactions needs to be regulated, namely questions concerning:



  • The geodata itself (collection, management, dissemination, quality, Intellectual Property Rights, liability, jurisdiction)

  • The data delivering services (terms of service, restrictions, liability, jurisdiction)

  • The geoportal service (service level, liability, jurisdiction)

  • Application developers (licensing, confidentiality, privacy, data sharing)

  • End Users (licensing, confidentiality, privacy, data sharing)

In order to secure a common understanding of the terms used in the legal framework there also needs to be developed a short Arctic SDI Terminology.

Over time if the Arctic SDI develop services and tools and if cooperation expands to include more than the National Mapping Agencies there will undoubtedly be a need for establishing an agreement between the Arctic SDI Geoportal Manager and the data providers (the NMA’s + others)



The policy framework

A policy framework that sets the direction for developing the Arctic SDI services will enable any participant to understand the nature of the corporation and to adjust their actions in the same direction. Some of the issues from the policy framework might be worked into the legal framework and some will only serve as guidance. The policy framework can include considerations concerning



  • Data models and standards

  • Data distribution standards and technologies

  • Open data policies

  • Open Source Software

  • Cloud computing

  • Volunteered Geographic Information / Crowd Sourcing

  • Mobile and location based services

  • High Resolution Imagery

  • Data integration

Where to publish the Operational Policies

The Arctic SDI Policy Framework will be published on the Arctic SDI Web-site and referred to on the Arctic SDI Geoportal in a short version and with link to the web-site.



The Arctic SDI Legal Framework will for the elements relevant for third parties like users and application developers will be published on the Arctic SDI Geoportal and when purposely relevant incorporated in the services, whereas the elements only relevant between the National Mapping Institutions will be published on the Arctic SDI Web-site.

ARCTIC SDI - Working Group on Operational Policies



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